“Paean: (Greek ‘striking’ from paiein ‘to strike’) A song or hymn of joy, exultation or praise, In ancient Greece it was an invocation (q.v.) or thanksgiving addressed to Apollo the Striker, ‘one who strikes blows in order to heal mankind.'”
Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.